Fusion: Sentient, the mobile tie-in game to new XBLA release Fusion: Sentient is now available. For those keeping score, this marks two weeks in a row of Windows Phone-exclusive games that feature connectivity with an Xbox 360 title. Not too shabby!
After spending an hour or so with Fusion: Sentient, I can tell it's going to be addictive. It plays like a real-time strategy game, as players direct up to five units around each map. But you can also pause and issue orders at any time, making it a bit less hectic and more mobile-friendly. The graphics (excluding the general darkness from the black fog of war) are great, with highly detailed mechs, AKA Sentients. An interesting story told through digital comic panels captures some of the console game's witty humor and promises to expand on the origin of the cybernetic Sentients. With five planets worth of missions and the Ghost Fleet, an endless encounter area built for grinding, Sentient will keep strategy fans busy for a long time.
I only have two gripes so far. First, the pre-mission load times are excessive, ranging from 30-60 seconds in some cases. Not ideal for a mobile game, especially since Fusion: Sentient isn't Mango-compatible out of the gate (just like Kinectimals). Fast App Switching will hopefully cut down on the wait when resuming after visting the Home screen, etc.
Also, the game appears to have tons of choice loot to win after completing missions. But you can't tell what anything does without selecting a Sentient and finding whatever items in your inventory might be compatible with it. An auto-equip feature and a way to browse your entire inventory would make item management much easier.
As I mentione before, Fusion: Sentient connects to Fusion: Genesis on Xbox 360 in a unique way. Phone-grown Sentients can be sold or traded from the Auction House, where they then become useful AI partners in the MMO-like console game. It's a promising feature which we'll explore in greater detail after we've sunk a few more hours into both games.
Fusion: Sentient costs only $2.99 and there is a free trial. Score it here on the Marketplace. Fusion: Genesis launches today at 800 Microsoft Points ($10).